April 11, 2021 – Walking Into The Wind

I’m of a particularly gloomy disposition today and as much as I hate to admit it, I’m not done complaining. Lately, life feels much like ‘walking into the wind’. I try and power through it but the whole experience seems rather unpleasant. My body tenses, bracing against the continual gusts, and every now and then, the wind kicks up some sand or dirt and sends it in my direction. If I’m lucky, I’ll avoid getting it in my eyes but it’s bound to happen at some point. Maybe it won’t happen today but it may happen tomorrow or the day after that. There are things I often think about and they’re probably things I should discuss with my therapist, but since all of that crap happened with the billing department, I am a bit gun-shy about returning. I feel anger about not only that, but about so many things that have happened throughout my life. How I would love to numb out right about now with a handful of Cadbury Easter Eggs and some homemade Caramel corn.

Because I vowed to face my emotions head-on after my transplant surgery, I am finding life incredibly difficult at the moment. Good emotions are one thing but bad or negative emotions are another. Negative emotions don’t feel good and I often don’t know how to process them. I have anger towards myself and anger towards others and oftentimes I can ignore it and deny its existence, but more often than not when it rears its ugly head I cannot help but notice. When I stay inside and don’t leave my house, it isn’t easy but I can generally manage ok. Escaping my own inner demons is impossible because no matter how fast or far I try to run, they just follow me. Of course, the complex matters involving my own friends and family are ever present as well. With an elderly mom (in the throes of dementia) and 7 siblings, there’s never a dull moment. My nightly habit of reading up on current events throughout the world and within my own community doesn’t necessarily help my frame of mind either.

When I choose to go ‘elsewhere’, to actually leave the sanctity of my own home, I see and experience so many things that I’d prefer not to and it makes me feel so helpless and hopeless. I cannot escape them. A few examples? Just across the street stands the hospital, areas cordoned off with traffic cones to assist with guiding people who have arrived for their Covid-19 vaccinations (a continual reminder of the pandemic). Within a block of my home, there are numerous surfaces that have been freshly tagged, the handiwork of gang members (a plight of the impoverished and disadvantaged and a cycle that’s tough to break). Just around the corner from us, there’s been a homeless gentleman living out of two dilapidated RVs (connected together) for the last two months. I’m not sure whether he’s faring better or worse than the mom and her 8-10 year old son who I noticed the other day. They were sitting on the corner (across from Walmart), holding signs which stated they needed money for a room.

I want so desperately to help people but how can I help others when I can barely manage working through my own sh*t? My husband and I went to Big Lots a few days ago and I came across the woman that gave me so much heartburn at my last job. She had her back to me when I noticed her and I didn’t say anything because I don’t particularly like her and I cannot be fake. I went on about my business and while having a discussion with one of the store clerks, I noticed her peripherally off to my right. She skulked around and seemed to follow me and my husband as we made our way from the back to the front of the store. After we exited the building, as we approached the car, my husband said, “I think that was so-in-so in the store.” “It was!” I replied. “You noticed her and you didn’t say anything?” he asked. “I noticed her but she had her back to me. And I had no interest in approaching her and asking how she was because it wouldn’t be authentic. If you noticed, she didn’t make any effort to introduce herself either,” I answered back.

Do you know how long I ‘mused’ about her after that? At least two solid days! I wasted two entire days thinking about this stupid, inconsequential woman who used to irk me so much that I often couldn’t sleep at night. She knew all my buttons and she knew how to push each and every one of them. If it was just her that got on my nerves, I would probably return to my old job in a heartbeat (once it opens back up). But it isn’t just her. It’s the other part-time receptionist that works at a snail’s pace and it’s the master moochers that come in each day and help themselves to everything that’s not nailed down and it’s the crabby lady from the Bridge (card) group that always gives me a hard time and it’s the lady with developmental issues who sits on the couch across from my desk (for 2-3 hours at a time) and rubs her thighs repeatedly while moaning loudly (leading me to believe something lude and lascivious is going on). And, and, and. Yes, I know. It’s pretty obvious. I’m the one with a problem.

I’ve got several, actually. I am overly-sensitive, I am impatient, I am moody, I am a perfectionist, I take things too personally, and I am easily distracted and annoyed by sounds. Should I go on? I could if you’d like, but I don’t want to sit and focus on my shortcomings because we’ll be here all night (and into tomorrow). The thing is, you needn’t worry about me being well aware of my faults, I aced that test. It’s hard to get out of bed most mornings/afternoons because I know it’s going to be an uphill battle. What little I accomplish these days seems like it either doesn’t last or it’s not ‘up to snuff’. My poor dog doesn’t understand why I keep ‘barking’ at her but I get so frustrated when I wipe her snot off the windows and within a matter of hours, it looks like I never touched them. It seems no different with her hair. I can spend all day sweeping and swiffering and vacuuming and within two days, everything’s covered again with a fresh layer. I feel like I’m living with a dog version of Pigpen from ‘Peanuts’.

She cannot help herself, I know this. It doesn’t make me any less angry or upset. Honestly, the snot and hair are pretty insignificant when I compare them to the whining and begging and behavior issues (not listening, jumping on people and/or sniffing their crotches, getting into the garbage). Whose fault is that? It’s my fault! I never bothered to train her properly. With regard to the gangs and the pandemic and the homelessness, as much as I’d like to blame myself, I think it’s safe to say that those matters didn’t originate because of me or something I did. Do they make me angry? Yes!! They make me very angry! I want so badly to ‘rescue’ and ‘fix’ people and I don’t know the first thing. Christ, I don’t even know how to ‘fix’ myself! Each time I see a fresh ‘tag’ on a building or a fence or a sidewalk or a utility box, I become enraged. Initially, I want to throttle the people responsible, but then I think about once-upon-a-time when they were sweet, innocent children and all the potential they had. A life so full of promise can be so easily undone.

Once those kids are recruited, it’s a matter of time before the light fades from their eyes. They are dealt two hands after that, death or prison. One of my oldest son’s friends in elementary school wound up joining a gang and died in a drive-by. Such a waste! As far as the pandemic, I try to do ‘my part’ but I can only do so much. It has created such a divide among people. I get so angry when I make a point to ‘mask up’ at the request of local businesses (as well as for my own protection), while others make no effort whatsoever. It’s all so overwhelming and there’s been so much loss. I thought I saw a light at the end of the tunnel until I got news of the ‘variants’. Regarding homelessness, it’s so prevalent that I wouldn’t even know where to start. Apparently, nobody has the answer because it just keeps getting increasingly worse. It broke my heart when I drove by that mom and her son. I wanted to stop and help her but then I thought, “I might be able to cover their hotel for one night, but what about tomorrow and the day after that, and the day after that?”

I’m sorry to be such a ‘Debbie Downer’ but this is the kind of crap that swirls around in my brain. I know it isn’t healthy to stay in my head for extended periods of time because I don’t tend to follow the yellow brick road with sunlight streaming down on it, I follow the narrow, dark path (flanked on either side by thorny bushes), which leads me to places some/most consider less than desirable. As much as I wish I had the answers, I simply don’t. I don’t know how to fix myself and I certainly don’t know how to fix ‘everything else’. I feel so helpless and hopeless and angry and frustrated. I imagine most people must be feeling this way. Anyway, I really do apologize for ‘unloading’ once again. I promise to talk about something positive the next time I write. I have some great vacation memories that I think might bring a smile to your face. The one that involved my brother ‘Turtle’ was quite memorable indeed (mostly for the wrong reasons). Alright, I’d better call it a night. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and I hope you stop by again tomorrow.

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